WATCH: At the Ronald Reagan Dinner at CPAC, ACU Communications Director Ian Walters said the RNC hired Michael Steele as chairman in 2009 "because he’s a black guy." pic.twitter.com/g6YcyLET5w— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 24, 2018
Former chairperson of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele, was recently told by a conservative honcho that he was elected to his position in 2009 because he is “a black guy.”
Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the conference’s communications director, Ian Walters, reminisced about the time Obama was elected as POTUS, a victory that was disorienting for the RNC.
"We were somewhat lost as a group, we had just elected the first African-American president, and that was a big deal and that was a hill that we got over and it was something that we were all proud of and we weren't sure what to do, and in a little bit of cynicism what did we do? This is a terrible thing. We elected Mike Steele to be the RNC chair because he's a black guy, that was the wrong thing to do," Walters said.
Steele brought up the comment on his SiriusXM radio show, “Steele an Ungar,” as he confronted the head of American Conservative Union, Matt Schlapp. Steele made it a point to tell Schlapp that he had managed to climb the ladder to the top in a system designed not to uplift him, but to exclude and undermine him.
“I’ve taken crap you have no idea about,” Steele said to Schlapp.
Schlapp’s efforts to broker a truce between Steele and Walters fell flat as he refuse to condemn Walters’ words and instead, called his remark “unfortunate.”
“It’s not ‘unfortunate,’” said Steele. “Call it what it is. It is stupid to sit there and say that we elected a black man chairman of the party…Do you know how that sounds to the black community?”
Steele also made a larger point on how accomplished African-Americans in the country are made to feel as if their victories are due to the race card.
"It also goes to insulting not just me -- I mean, I can deal with that, I'm a big boy, put my pants on and go into the fight -- but it goes after everyone in the RNC who knew me and worked with me and supported the effort that I undertook to become chairman," he added. "But even more broadly, it insults every African-American and calls into question their personal accomplishments."
Walters, Steele told MSNBC, has tried to apologize to him. The apology has not been accepted.
"He did call and he tried to explain himself and said what he was thinking, he relayed it back to Barack Obama's election, and then he said at one point, 'I apologize,' and I just said, you know, that's just not acceptable, that's not enough," Steele recalled.
This is just one example of how racist conservatives can be, even to a person who holds the same point of views lik them. Steele’s accomplishments are undeniable, however, the right-wing conservative still cannot bear a black man in a position of power.
It’s probably time for Steele to leave the party that so little appreciates him.
I’ve known both @MichaelSteele and @mschlapp for two decades. This broke my heart. One man has compromised everything for a president who will, in the end, do more to destroy the causes and policies he loves. God speed my friend. https://t.co/9M4fIQw6tP— Nicolle Wallace (@NicolleDWallace) February 24, 2018
Why is Michael Steele still in the Republican Party?— deray (@deray) February 24, 2018
Yesterday, (CPAC) communication director, Ian Walters, threw a racially motivated insult at former RNC chair Michael Steele:— Ed Krassenstein ?? (@EdKrassen) February 24, 2018
“We elected Mike Steele as chairman because he was a black guy, that was the wrong thing to do."
I want to know how Steele is still a Republican today.
It does not matter whether the target is Democrat or Republican; political friend or political foe; that comment is racist and inexcusable and has no place in our nation. An unfair & undeserved slight for a professional like @MichaelSteele -- was clearly "the wrong thing to do." https://t.co/VfJSmUfuqY— Gene Sperling (@genebsperling) February 24, 2018
Under Michael Steele’s leadership the RNC broke fundraising records in the 2009-2010 cycle by raising over $192 million. The @GOP had its biggest pickup since 1938 and the greatest share of state legislative seats since 1928. https://t.co/HO9J7SDJeA— Shermichael (@Shermichael_) February 24, 2018
Matt’s team made a racially charged remark about @MichaelSteele, and then Matt had the nerve to attack Michael for making the criticism about race. He also suggested the racist attack was mitigated by the fact Michael criticized Trump. It was insulting, depressing and bizarre. https://t.co/ZIuvUVp2l7— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) February 25, 2018
Banner / Thumbnail : REUTERS, Molly Riley